The Daily Grind Video

<p><span style="font-family: ‘Trebuchet MS’, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; color: #333333; line-height: 20px;">On March 25, I attended the State of the Planet conference held by The Earth Institute at Columbia University. The forum was a global event, using an HD webcast to connect panel speakers from New York, New Delhi, Beijing, Nairobi, Monaco, London, and Mexico City. I had never been to such a diverse and interesting conference that wasn&rsquo;t an ethnic event. The speakers included plenty of current and former UN officials, royalty from Monaco and the Netherlands, CEO&rsquo;s of several major corporations, and a slew of professors and experts from regional universities. Although many issues and topics were discussed, in my opinion the two most pressing and important debates were on reducing climate change and alleviating poverty in Africa using &ldquo;green&rdquo; technologies.<br /><br />The poverty discussion focused primarily on how to achieve the millennium development goals, with a special focus on whether or not &ldquo;green&rdquo; technology is the answer for fixing the poverty crisis in Africa. The panel of speakers in NYC consisted of HRH Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, Prof. Glenn Denning &amp; Prof. Upmanu Lall of Columbia University, and Hans Vestberg the President &amp; CEO of Ericsson. They had quite a few points to make, stating:<br /><br /><br />- Child mortality has gone down by 25% in recent years, but all goals envisioned by the Millennium Project are still far away<br />- More people are starving now than in 1990, and maternity care is also suffering<br />- There have been no implementations of the policies put into action in the last 10 years, only rare cases like in Malawi where progress is evident<br />- Broadband and mobile communication will help to alleviate the problem because it allows communication to areas with resources<br />- Water shortage is the next big challenge in policy making (ex. India &amp; China are both facing water crises, but no global action is underway)<br />- There is no place for poor people in poor countries to safely have a savings for their money<br /><br /><br />Next, our host Riz Khan of&nbsp;<span style="font-style: italic;">Al Jazeera English</span>&nbsp;connected us to the panel of experts in Nairobi, Kenya to gain an African perspective on the problems. We were introduced to Jonathan Ledgard of&nbsp;<span style="font-style: italic;">The Economist</span>. He was moderating the panel which included, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka of the Republic of Kenya, Achim Steiner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Sylvia Mwichuli of the UN Millennium Campaign, Michael Joseph the CEO of Safaricom, and Mike Bushell of Syngenta International Research Centre. They noted that:<br /><br /><br />- Africa is accelerating faster than any other continent, but 30-50% of it&rsquo;s biology has died in the last 10 years<br />- Africa&rsquo;s population is doubling, while industrialization needs to quadruple to meet demand<br />- Government structures need to include grassroots organizations so the common people will also have a voice in the decision-making<br />- Equal opportunity needs to be provided, so not just the rich countries will develop new, &ldquo;green&rdquo; technologies<br />- Mobile phones and proper banking are MAJOR needs<br />- 50% of all hospital beds are filled with people who are sick due to impure water consumption<br />- In 10 years, Kenya can have a 0% carbon emissions output due to development of &ldquo;green&rdquo; technology including solar, wind, &amp; hydro<br />- All countries and continents should pay for any damage they have done to Africa because